China's population

Should China abandon its one-child policy?

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 November, 2015, 4:12pm


Related topics

Elaine Yu Yee-nee, 15, Creative Secondary School

The one-child policy was launched in 1979 to control the mainland's population explosion.

This policy has helped bring prosperity to the country by increasing economic growth, people's quality of life and the availability of social services.

Deng Xiaoping , the father of the mainland's modernisation drive, said the first step towards boosting the country's economy was to control the birth rate. A lower birth rate has helped millions of poor people achieve a better quality of life.

The government is also better able to allocate limited resources and support individuals.

With a higher birth rate, resources - including health care - would be stretched to breaking point. And citizens' living standards would suffer.

Yet the one-child policy has drawn lots of criticism both at home and abroad.

Critics argue that limiting the number of children people can have violates their human rights.

They have also pointed out that the law is not equally enforced between rich and poor people.

Yet we have to understand that every policy has its pros and cons. It is impossible to have a perfect solution that fits everyone.

The benefits of the one-child policy outweigh its negative aspects because it helps create a better future for millions of people on the mainland.

Despite the policy, the mainland's population keeps increasing. Therefore, for the sake of development, the one-child policy shouldn't be abandoned - at least in the near future. We need it for sustainable development and stable economic growth.

Ronald Ling Pak-ki, 20, University of Hong Kong

It's undeniable that the one-child policy has succeeded in keeping the mainland's population growth manageable.

Yet it has long been criticised for causing a number of social problems.

Hence, the one-child policy should be abandoned.

Most worryingly, it has led to a gender imbalance on the mainland.

For traditional reasons, many Chinese families prefer boys over girls. This has meant that many baby girls have been aborted, abandoned or even killed.

According to a recent study, there are 35 million more boys than girls under the age of 20 in China.

In addition, most children grow up without siblings. This could hamper their psychological development.

Many only children are spoiled and they depend on their parents for almost everything. Also, they don't learn proper social skills.

In the long run, the one-child policy will endanger the development of China. The population growth will eventually stop given the low birth rate.

It is estimated that the country's population might decrease considerably by 2100. The loss of a working force will be disastrous to the country's economic development.

An ageing population will place a huge burden on the country's younger generation. A single young person will have to support several older people - parents and grandparents - alone.

An ageing population will also strain public welfare services.

In short, the disadvantages of the one-child policy hugely outweigh its benefits. Beijing should abandon it in the interest of the country's future and its long-term prosperity.